|life’s shadows, center stage
Mike Levine - October 4, 2012
Railbird is the kind of band that doesn't mind sharing their secrets with you, even if some of these details might make you a little nervous. Singer Sarah Pedinotti seems to whisper these tell-all remarks with a mysterious honesty requiring a certain amount of courage on both sides of the microphone. This isn't an easy-going ride, but is certainly worth the time. Latest video 'Jump Ship' (streaming below, which premiered on Brooklyn Vegan a few days ago) plays with these conflicted feelings, bouncing between intimacy and moodiness amid kaleidoscopic bubbles and cameo appearances from Sean Rowe and Phantogram's Sarah Barthel.
You have a very imaginative way of making far-flung material come together in your records. Can you tell me where you go to to find your inspiration?
We go to a magical little schoolhouse in the Berkshires whenever we can manage.
What's your process of manipulation for your samples?
I have an SP-404 and I use the external mic to record almost all my samples. Right now almost every pad triggers a sample of my voice singing one note so I can play it like a keyboard. I also have a sample of 50 Cent's In Da Club that came with it ( I got it used.) I'll never delete it.
Your voice shapes the song's contours so originally, so I'm wondering how you put things together. Do you write your voice and melody lines alongside the music, or does one precede the other?
It depends. Each song is different. For Hushaby, I wrote the bass line and from there it shaped the melody and everything after that, and same thing with a new song, Lucky, which is co-written by Chris Kyle. For the songs I write anything goes. It's a bit like walking blindfolded in a room, the first thing you come in contact with and make sense of, shapes the rest of your perception and the song get's built around that.
So what's it like working with Sean Rowe?
It's a great feeling. He's the real deal. So genuine and funny. It's refreshing. Chris (Kyle) and I are looking forward to joining him on the road this November opening for J.D. McPherson.
I LOVE the video to 'Jump Ship.' How long am I waiting now before the new record drops?
We will be releasing a new single "Mirrorz" in early October followed by an EP in late fall... And look for a new album in 2013!
How'd the residency at Pete's Candy Store go? It sounds like you had a lot of fun there with a lot of great guest appearances.
Pete's left us with the warmest of fuzzy feelings. Kind of like Christmas morning. And located right in our backyard. It felt sooo good.